SM Jonas: though I started out writing fantasies such as Crimson Leaf, I now write contemporary thrillers. I'm currently a freelance web designer who also proofreads and edits for other authors. I live in Yorkshire in the UK and enjoy reading a wide variety of books, primarily fiction.
Crimson Leaf is a murder mystery set in a distant place and time.
It's the coming-of-age story of seventeen-year-old Crown Prince Travis who, when orphaned by a double murder, celebrates his freedom from a loveless and strict upbringing by running riot with his teenage friends. Travis doesn't curb his behavior until warned by his elderly guardian, Gareth, and then threatened by the Lord Chief Justice.
It is also the story of Lyssia and Albion, the last of the mysterious Guardians. Following Travis' coronation, a new sword master and a maid start work at the palace. Not long after, the king's brothers and sister are subject to murder attempts. It seems that a complex plot threatens the entire royal family.
In a race to find the murderer before he strikes again, the Guardians and the king's advisors become dangerously at odds. Meanwhile, Travis goes on a clandestine mission that will lead him to the unimaginable truth.
What will e-readers like about your book?
Their curiosity will be challenged by trying to work out who the murderer might be, while their emotions will be engaged, particularly by Travis' growing anguish and by Lyssia's entanglement with the Lord Chief Justice.
Why did you go indie?
I have an agent to represent my contemporary thrillers but have not found a suitable outlet for this fantasy, particularly as it is a hybrid mystery / romance as well. Previous readers enjoyed the story, so I'm sure it has an audience.
C G Cherryh, Orson Scott Card, Anne McCaffrey, Isaac Asimov